WRAL: Google launches new website, connecting families to nearby food pantries

WRAL: Google launches new website, connecting families to nearby food pantries. “Nearly one in seven Americans do not know where their next meal will come from. This is roughly 45 million people in 2020, including 15 million children. That’s a nearly 30 percent increase from 2019. This is why Google launched a new ‘Find Food Support’ site to help fight hunger across the country by linking people to their nearest food bank.”

F&W Game Changers: Fridges for All (Food & Wine)

New-to-me, from Food & Wine: F&W Game Changers: Fridges for All. “Unlike food pantries or other forms of food assistance, community fridges don’t attract large crowds or require interpersonal contact, making them particularly COVID-friendly. Masked volunteers fill the fridges with groceries purchased thanks to donations, often through Venmo or Cash App, and community members can add food to the fridges, too. While the concept has existed for years, the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a surge in community-generated support; fridges have become vital sources of fresh, easily accessible foods in Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Chicago, and more cities around the country.”

Rochester Institute of Technology: NYSP2I creates new tools to help New York municipalities reduce wasted food

Rochester Institute of Technology: NYSP2I creates new tools to help New York municipalities reduce wasted food. “The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I)—led by Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability—has developed a free, interactive toolkit that municipalities can use to design, implement, and manage food waste programs at the local level. The three-part guide, How to Build a Municipal Food Waste Strategy: A Toolkit for New York State Municipalities, is designed to assist communities large and small with building programs for reducing wasted food that are realistic and results-driven.”

Associated Press: US hunger crisis persists, especially for kids, older adults

Associated Press: US hunger crisis persists, especially for kids, older adults. “Food banks around the U.S. continue giving away far more canned, packaged and fresh provisions than they did before the virus outbreak tossed millions of people out of work, forcing many to seek something to eat for the first time. For those who are now back at work, many are still struggling, paying back rent or trying to rebuild savings.”

Climate Home News: Hit by hurricanes and Covid, more Central Americans go hungry and plan to migrate

Climate Home News: Hit by hurricanes and Covid, more Central Americans go hungry and plan to migrate. “Hurricanes and the coronavirus pandemic have contributed to a huge rise in the number of people going hungry in four Central American nations, leading many to make plans to migrate. A UN World Food Programme study (WFP) found that nearly eight million people are hungry in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.”

New York Times: Pandemic Leaves More Military Families Seeking Food Assistance

New York Times: Pandemic Leaves More Military Families Seeking Food Assistance. “Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the United States, has all the trappings of a small American city: shopping centers, a barber shop and social clubs. In a sign of the times, it also has a food bank. This spring, the Y.M.C.A. on base — which started a food pantry last year to respond to the growing food insecurity among military families — saw a 40 percent increase in requests for groceries. During the same period, grocery requests to AmericaServes, a network that helps military families, jumped to the biggest service request in the organization’s history.”

Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic. “Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring and at higher levels than in past economic downturns, according to interviews with more than a dozen retailers, security experts and police departments across the country. But what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is what’s being taken — more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula.”

Queens, one of the first COVID-19 epicenters, faces a new crisis: hunger (National Geographic)

National Geographic: Queens, one of the first COVID-19 epicenters, faces a new crisis: hunger. “Queens’ official unemployment rate in October was 13.1 percent, according to the New York State Department of Labor. But the real number was likely higher given the large number of undocumented immigrants working informal or gig-economy jobs not reflected in state data. During the summer, numerous social-services organizations across New York City reported at least 75 percent of their immigrant clients had lost jobs because of the pandemic. With joblessness rampant, many more families are now seeking help from food pantries scattered about the borough.”

CNN: A high school in Texas opened a grocery store for struggling families where good deeds are accepted as payment

CNN: A high school in Texas opened a grocery store for struggling families where good deeds are accepted as payment. “A school in a small town in Texas has ignited hope across the community by opening a student-led grocery store to support families in need. Linda Tutt High School in Sanger launched the grocery store in November so students could purchase necessities including toilet paper, meat and basic food items. They pay for their purchases by earning points from good deeds.”

Washington Post: A growing number of Americans are going hungry

Washington Post: A growing number of Americans are going hungry. “One in 8 Americans reported they sometimes or often didn’t have enough food to eat in the past week, hitting nearly 26 million American adults, an increase several times greater than the most comparable pre-pandemic figure, according to Census Bureau survey data collected in late October and early November. That number climbed to more than 1 in 6 adults in households with children.”

Washington Post: Trump officials gave a finance firm $16.3 million to supply food boxes to the poor. House Democrats are raising questions about how those funds were handled.

Washington Post: Trump officials gave a finance firm $16.3 million to supply food boxes to the poor. House Democrats are raising questions about how those funds were handled.. “One of the largest awardees in a key Trump pandemic relief operation redirected $3 million to its own nonprofit organization despite its lack of track record or capacity in delivering food to people in need, House Democrats have alleged. Yegg Inc., a California firm that offers business finance solutions, was awarded $16.6 million to supply milk and dairy boxes for the Farmers to Families Food Box program May 8.”

Providence Journal: One in four Rhode Islanders can’t meet basic food needs, food bank’s annual report says

Providence Journal: One in four Rhode Islanders can’t meet basic food needs, food bank’s annual report says. “The pandemic that has taken almost 1,300 Rhode Island lives has also plunged people into food insecurity at a rate not seen since the Great Depression. In 2019, the number reporting food insecurity was 9.1%. This year, 25% said they were unable to provide enough food for themselves and their families.”

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Where to find free meals in South Florida during the coronavirus pandemic

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Where to find free meals in South Florida during the coronavirus pandemic. “With the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the community, one of the biggest growing concerns has been putting food on the table. Broward and Palm Beach County Public Schools along with other organizations have teamed up to make sure that families don’t go to sleep hungry. Here are some of the organizations offering free meals.”